How do you feel when you can’t remember something important? Agitated? Angry? Factors such as emotions, food, stress, and hormones have an impact on your memory. What if I told you that musical instruments, particularly playing the piano, can influence the way you remember information positively? It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or have been playing piano for years – Every time you play, it helps to boost your memory. If you are wondering how this happens, then you are right on time. Below are 5 powerful ways piano playing can improve your memory.
- Piano playing improves your concentration
Playing the piano requires you to be attentive. You have to focus on several things at once – pitch, rhythm, and tempo. Apart from that, you are using your hands, reading music, listening to notes, and simultaneously working the pedals. You might think this is too much to ask from one person at once! Unfortunately, there is no way around it. For this reason, a piano player develops a skill called split concentration. It allows you to multi-task and pay divided attention to all the other tasks at the same time. This technique improves your concentration levels even in the outside world. It goes without saying that if you can concentrate, then you can capture the information you want fast and remember it with ease when needed.
- Improved listening skills
What do you do if you want to play a particular song or music on the piano? You listen to it carefully so that you can remember how the song goes while playing. You also practice it several times and hum the tune repeatedly, a thing that boosts your listening skills. By so doing, you can correct yourself when you make a mistake while playing. With the good listening skills you have gained from playing the piano in the outside world, you experience an improved verbal memory. If you can memorize audio information, it’s less likely you’ll forget the information you learn in other places.
- Playing the piano taps on neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change its form and function, especially after stimulation from a particular physical activity. You are probably wondering how this is related to piano playing. Playing the piano changes the form and functioning of your brain. The best part is that it does so in a positive way. Piano playing not only stimulates your brain but also adds some new neural connections.
Studies found that piano playing improves neuropsychology. There is also evidence that playing the piano bridges a gap between the two hemispheres of the brain. This makes it easy for musicians to process information and acquire new skills at a quicker pace than non-musicians. If that is not enough to convince you, another study in the Journal of Neuroscience found that tuning the piano improves the function of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain part that specializes in memory. So, as you work on a tough piece of music on your piano, you are also tapping on the parts of the brain responsible for memory.
- Reduced stress and anxiety
Have you ever noticed that when you are in a stressful situation, you tend to forget even some basic information? Like where you put your keys or phone, simple words, etc. Ever wondered why? This happens because stress and anxiety tend to throw everything off balance. It is also difficult to understand crucial information while experiencing stress and anxiety. If you can find a way to relieve the stress, chances of saying “I am sorry, I can’t remember” will be fewer. Here’s where piano playing comes in handy. It calms your mind, improves your mood, and improves your general mental health. Keep stress away with piano playing and improve your memory.
- Improved IQ
Almost related to neuroplasticity, the line between IQ and playing the piano is very thin. You will notice students who take piano classes tend to perform better than those who don’t take the lessons. Piano playing plays a significant part in cognitive development and IQ level improvement. This makes it easier for piano students to retain more information than their counterparts who don’t take the lessons.
According to research by a Boston Children’s Hospital, music training not only improves executive function, but also cognitive processes such as; working memory, problem-solving, planning, and more. These cognitive abilities obtained during piano playing also influence the ability to retain information even in completely unrelated subjects.
There you have it! If you thought piano playing is only a leisure activity or a part of the coursework, you might want to reconsider. Above are some of the powerful ways piano playing will boost your memory. Stop taking it for granted. If you haven’t enrolled in a piano class, don’t worry, it is never too late. Get started with piano lessons today!